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Children with autism have conditions that make them different from other children even when it comes to stuff they like to get, use, or play.
Figuring out what is a good gift for an autistic child may be quite a challenge, but it’s good news that the key to the perfect present is by knowing what makes them unique. One thing to keep in mind is that the gift should be age-appropriate, meaningful, and thoughtful.
With the holidays creeping in just around the corner, it’s best to plan ahead and determine what the right gift is for them.
Your options aren’t just limited to toys – children with autism, much like other kids, can be won over with other types of gifts too that they can genuinely enjoy as well.
So your choices are more expansive than you think. Also, I’ll let you in on a secret. The best way to know what kind of gift is a good one is by asking their parent or guardian first—they’ll surely know what kind of gift their child will appreciate.
So if you’re stressed out trying to find the perfect gift for your loved one, it’s your time to relax because you’re in for a real treat because I’ve come up with a buying guide and great gift ideas that they will surely love!
Looking for the best gift for a child with autism? We have listed 22 suitable gifts from toys to personal stuff. Check it out below.
What Is A Good Gift For An Autistic Child?
Something that is calming and can appeal to their interests – children with autism have unique interests and abilities. You need to choose a gift that you know will pique their interest.
You can ask their parents or guardian about what activities they usually like, then get them something they can use while doing the activities they love to do. If they love music, for instance, then give them a music player or a music box so they can play their favorite tune.
You can never be wrong with calming and soothing gifts. These are things that can help create a safe and calming experience for them.
Something that they can operate according to their developmental stage – the next thing you would want to consider if it’s something that is age-appropriate and if they can operate it to their ability.
Things they can touch, inspect, and operate are meant to help them deal with their senses in a fun way. Hyper-sensitivities or hypo-sensitivities may affect the child’s processes and reactions to different types of stimuli.
Through the use of play, an autistic child may better understand and manage not to over-react or under-react over something. Sensory toys help them grasp objects that may be relaxing and calming. As a response, they can focus on what they are doing and be able to play naturally.
It would also be great if you can get them a gift that can help develop their skills as well.
Something that their parent or guardian approves of – a rule of thumb that you can go by is if the gift that you are trying to buy is a parent or guardian-approved. This will save you time and effort from guessing what’s the best gift to buy for them.
There are certain gifts that are better than others and there definitely are gifts that can be perfect for special children. So when choosing a gift for an autistic child, it’s only smart to consider their preferences.
10 Gift Ideas For A Child With Autism
1.) Your time
The first and also one of the best gifts you can give to a child with autism is your time and presence.
Any kid would love to spend some quality time with their friends and families, in fact, research shows that sitting down and spending time with them has a big and positive impact on their development.
Autistic children and teenagers can be intensely focused on topics of conversation. For example, they might enjoy listening to their favorite stories and characters. It can also make them happy going to bed in their regular bedtime routines.
Other than it will not require you to spend any money, your time and effort will help be a good bonding time that can strengthen your relationship with the child.
You can have fun doing their favorite activities or maybe let them experience something new like going to amusement parks or museums, just as long as they can enjoy it and it is not something that will startle them, because that is the last thing we want for them to feel.
Arts and crafts are also a great idea too!
2.) Fun and Engaging Books
While different children may have different degrees of symptoms, children with ASD commonly struggle with reading comprehension. But one thing is for sure is that children love books, even children with autism, in fact, they actually love books even more.
Autistic kids have a much better memory. Since books come with drawings, photographic and interesting illustrations, these tools also help them practice remembering stories, colors, people names, places, songs, and other details.
Books with rhymes are engaging. You can opt to give them books with colorful pop-ups or books that they can also interact with. There are also books with sensorial textures that I am sure they will love too!
3.) A Weighted Blanket
Another sure-winner gift for a child with autism is weighted blankets. There are many benefits of weighted blankets for autistic children, and one of them is its ability to make them feel calm and secure.
ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can cause stress and anxiety in children who have it as they can have a hard time processing information coming at them at a fast rate, especially with children who are still having a hard time expressing themselves and their emotions.
This is the reason why calming and soothing gifts are the best candidate for a gift for a child with autism.
You can check this amazing super soft weighted blanket from Hazli Kids that can help improve sleep quality, relax the body and mind, reduce overstimulation, helps with a sensory processing disorder, and it will also make them feel like someone is hugging them.
So if you choose to give them this one, you’ll be literally sending hugs to them!
4.) Handheld Video Games
Video games can also provide benefits to a child with autism, it can greatly help in keeping them engaged which can improve their concentration skills and also boost their confidence as they complete tasks and finish levels within the game.
Handheld video games are a great choice of a gift because they are portable and they can also bring it along with them when they travel or just when they need to pass time while waiting for their doctor’s appointments and other occasions where they have free time to play.
5.) Choose Toys That Are Sensorial, Educational, and Interactive
Now of course toys are also included in this list, all kids love toys and when choosing toys as a gift, it’s best to choose something that can also serve a great purpose.
Look for something that can engage their senses, think of soft plush toys but with noticeable weight because this can also help calm them. Toys with flashing lights or projectors are also a popular choice.
They would also love to receive educational and interactive toys that can keep them entertained while they learn, it’s like hitting two birds with one stone! Think of LeapFrog products and other great educational toys that you can give to them as a gift.
Puzzles and Legos are a great choice too, they can also help develop essential skills, slime and kinetic sands are a crowd favorite too!
To give you an idea, you can check this one out from TANGLE BrainTools Imagine which is a sensory/fidget toy that will provide countless hours of fun! Its latex-free rubberized material has textured bumps that will give a calming and soothing effect perfect for kids with autism.
6.) An iPad
An iPad is like a blank canvass that children with autism can use, parents and guardians can choose the apps that they can download to help develop important skills such as their cognitive, social, and language skills as well.
The iPad is also a great tool that can help them learn how to communicate effectively, they will also love the sensorial experience a touchscreen gadget can give them and one thing is for sure, this can keep them entertained for hours while they’re learning without even knowing it!
7.) A Gift Card
In my opinion, a physical gift is still the best, especially if a child already knows how to expect gifts during holidays and birthdays.
But if you’re really in a rut, and having a hard time determining what kind of gift to get them, then you can opt to give a gift card.
This way the child will have the freedom and the choice on what to get, they will be able to receive something they really like and that they would love to get.
Choosing a gift for a child with autism is not that hard, it also doesn’t have to be crazy expensive and over the top.
It’s best to base your gift choices on what you can remember from them—the activities they like, the toys they like, the things they love to do, and all other stuff that they’re sure to be interested in.
Try to also give them something that is stress-free and will not frighten them as well, always think of something calming and something to make them feel secure.
As long as you’re choosing the gift with them in mind, you should be all good to go. But of course, don’t forget to ask their parents or guardians too.
If you’re hesitant about certain gifts, get a gift card. Parents and children will like the idea of picking the gift they like or shopping for toys and stuff that they can see in the stores.